Around the World Air Travel for Under $300
From the early planning stages of our trip and now living in Madrid, we are constantly asked how we could afford to travel around the world for so long and to so many distant places. Some people are eager to know the secret in hopes of taking some big trip one day. Others simply tell us that “It Must Be Nice” in a lackluster, half-assed acknowledgment, assuming we must have some massive bank account or special permission that allowed us to break away from the typical way of life. The reality is that we just made a choice many years ago to change our lives and we had to make a lot of difficult decisions and comprises to get there. But one thing is for sure, the $300 around the world flights that took us across the globe certainly prolonged our ability to travel and took us to incredible destinations like Ethiopia, India and Japan.
The 3 Worst Hostel Experiences From Our Round-the-World Trip
We recently shared our five favorite hostels from our round-the-world trip last year. Now it’s time to step a little bit on the negative side (I always make time for complaining). Here are three of our worst hostel experiences from our ten months of backpacking across five continents.
5 Favorite Hostels From Our Round-the-World Trip
During our round-the-world backpacking trip, we stayed mostly in hostels. However, we also made sure to treat ourselves every once in a while with a hotel – about once a month. You can only stand to not have a private room for so long! Our other common lodging option was of course CouchSurfing which we also did about once a month. Before we began backpacking I had never stayed in a hostel so my first one was the day we arrived in Mexico City. Hostel living grew on me fast and I couldn’t imagine traveling any other way at the moment (aside from CouchSurfing). As we’ve stayed at many a hostel, we thought we’d share our favorite five from our 10 months of backpacking across 5 continents.
What to Pack for a Round the World Trip
Packing for a year long trip around the world is not an easy task. Imagine trying to fit all the stuff you use on a daily basis into one small bag that you carry on your back. Although it wasn’t easy, we found a way to do it.
The first step for us was choosing a backpack and then deciding what to cram inside. We wanted to choose a bag with enough space for our items but nothing too large or heavy that would prevent us from being mobile. The compromise was a 55L backpack. After months of planning and debating, here is the list of what we packed.
Note: This post was first written in May 2012 but was updated in May 2013 to reflect what we actually kept or added to our packs while traveling. I’ve made all updates in red so you can see differences between before and after our trip.
Clothing / Apparel
- 3-4 t-shirts & 1 collar shirt (this number increased to 6-7 shirts)
- 1 pair each of pants, shorts, & swimsuit (in the end we had 2 pairs of pants including jeans)
- 4 pairs of underwear & socks (more like 6 pairs by the end)
- Light jacket
- Running shoes / sandals / casual shoes
- iPad & netbook
- Global cell phone
- iPhones (unlocked)
- Power adapters & extension cord
Security / Safety Items
Padlock (for lockers) (we used our wire bag lock for both lockers and locking our bag, no need for both)
- Wire lock (for backpacks)
- First aid kit
Misc Travel Items
- Pocket knife
- Water bottle
- Travel pillow
- Backpacking towel (a big, high quality one!)
- Small mess kit
- Drying line
- Sewing kit
Duct tape (we carried it the whole year but only ended up using it once)
- Ear plugs / eye mask
Playing cards (we only used these one or twice. not worth bringing again)
- Travel umbrella
- Squash ball (to plug sinks)
- Small travel mirror
- Resistance Bands (for staying fit on the road)
- Ziplock bags
- Compression sacks
Documents & Money
- Passport / ID
- Student ID – for discounts, though we aren’t students anymore)
- Travel insurance policy
- Vaccination certificates
- 2 Credits cards & 1 Debit card
And don’t forget the ridiculous amount of pills you’ll have to take with you!
After two long nights of organizing, we managed to pack all this stuff and still have room to spare. I’m taking bets on how long David can go with such a small choice of outfits! (Of course, I was right since he ended up buying 3 more shirts, extra pants and shorts) Deciding to backpack around the world is the best decision we have ever made but packing for the trip was one of the most difficult tasks!
Yard Sale to Raise Money for Our Round the World Trip
This past Friday and Saturday were our double yard sale days. Auston had his at his mom’s house in Mesa and I had mine at my mom’s in Gilbert.
Our nephew Draven was an excellent security guard too. You just never know what’s going to go down at a garage sale.
Things I’ve learned from my garage selling guru sister (Tasia):
1. People won’t buy what they can’t see. So display clothes, put together items that need assembly, and be sure your feature products are visible.
2. Don’t go too low on prices on day one. There’s always the next day to slash them.
3. $3 and $5 are good prices for items, but for some unknown reason she doesn’t like $4. I don’t understand that rule.
4. Signs have to be large, bright, and legible. But don’t let people mooch off your signs for their own yard sale! Someone did that to us on Saturday so we had to promptly add another sign.
5. At the end of it all, just get rid of your junk! We had a “Fill a Bag for a $1” deal. Anything that fits in the bag is yours!
And sometimes, you just have to treat yourself with some of your profits. This is my text to Auston trying to determine who made the most at their garage sale.
Thanks to our families for all the help. It was definitely a success and we managed to reach our goal. It will definitely help supplement our current lack of income.